How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger (It’s Not as Gross as You’d Think!)

You met online and are three dates deep.

One tragic evening, in the middle of an elaborate sushi-making process, your new date turns the conversation to politics. Thinking fast, you break up the tension by excusing yourself to visit the bathroom.

You do your business, pull the knob, and NOTHING happens. Your face flushes as you search unsuccessfully for a plunger.

“You alright in there?” Your date asks.

Caught with your pants down!

But this scenario isn’t cause for panic. Most bathrooms are equipped with all sorts of useful items for how to unclog a toilet without a plunger.

Good Old Wire Hanger Trick

If the bathroom has an adjoining closet, chances are good you can find a wire hanger.

Untwist the hanger till it’s fully extended and use it to prod around the clog. The hanger will break up whatever’s in the way allowing it to flush easily.

Hot Water and Slippery Soap Sloaps

This is an easy trick provided you can find a container for the water.

Put hand soap, laundry detergent, body wash, dish soap, or shampoo directly into the toilet bowl. These substances create slippery surfaces that discourage further clogging.

A cup, bucket, or wastebasket (remove the liner first) works well to transfer hot water from the sink or tub. Once added to the soap-laden toilet, the hot water will loosen the clot while the soap discourages things from re-sticking on their way down the drain.

Pour Some Bleach in the Porcelain Bowl

Bleach is a strong substance that dramatically changes the chemical makeup of any liquid it comes in contact with. Add generous amounts to the water in a clogged toilet.

When it comes to toilet paper and other fibrous material, bleach can be just the thing to soften difficult blocks. It also helps eliminate undesirable odors.

Toilet Brushes Can Help with Flushes

This is a messier option that works well when the above resources are scarce.

Push the head of a toilet brush into the drain hole as far as it will go until the bristles are crunched against the sides. Next, use the toilet brush as a battering ram until the clog is free.

You will want to give the brush a good rinse with the new water that fills the bowl. Chances are good it will take more than one flush to clear all debris from the bristles.

The Last Resort For How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger: Plastic Bag Method

This method may be just as humbling as leaving the scene of the crime to ask your host for help. Consider all options wisely before taking this plunge.

Using a glove or plastic bag as a covering, you can clear the roadblock by hand. Be sure not to flush the bag or glove as this will make the clog much worse. Once a clean flush is achieved, a shower should quickly follow.

For More Information

Whether it’s questions about leak detection, general plumbing, drainage, repiping, sewage cameras, or more about how to unclog a toilet without a plunger, you can find all your answers in one place.

At Manny’s Leak Detection Inc. our professionals are efficient as well as personable. For more information about our family owned business take a look at our contact page.

Or discover more simple solutions for all life’s little leaks and clogs by checking out our blog.

Ready to Repipe? 5 Signs Your Plumbing Needs an Upgrade

Are you concerned about the quality of the water in your home or business? Whether the issue is the color, the odor, or the temperature, you shouldn’t ignore it.

Although it’s easy to take plumbing issues for granted, they can have serious consequences. If left alone, these problems will only get worse, and the condition of your water and pipes could harm your health or your home.

Curious to learn more? Keep reading. We have all the info you need about when to consider getting a repipe for your house or business.

What Is a Repipe?

A plumbing repipe is when an expert replaces the supply pipes in a building. This service is not a short-term fix, but rather a full reinstatement.

Repiping a house usually costs around two to six dollars per square foot of the dwelling. However, the price varies depending on the building setup and the condition of the pipes.

So, how do you know when it’s time to call the pros for a plumbing repipe? Check out these five telltale signs.

1. Noisy Pipes

All pipes make noise. But if you’re hearing sounds that are out of the ordinary, it may indicate that it’s time to look into repipe plumbing.

Whether it’s creaking or banging, noisy pipes need fast attention.

2. Something Smells

If your water smells or tastes unpleasant, it’s a surefire sign that it’s time for a repipe. A change in the scent of your water could indicate a number of small problems, such as pinhole leaks, which are common in old copper plumbing.

It could also indicate one big problem. Either way, repiping is necessary.

3. Temperature Is Difficult to Adjust

Do you find it difficult to get that perfect sink and shower temperature? If so, new pipes may be necessary. Intense fluctuations or slow results are good indicators.

4. Leaky Pipes

If you have a singular leaky pipe, it usually suggests a localized issue. But if you notice a bunch of leaks throughout your home, the problem is much larger.

When your pipes are crying out for help, call a local company that offers repiping services. They will be able to assess the issue and help you with the next steps.

5. Discoloration

The color of your home’s water can give you a lot of information.

For example, your water may turn a reddish hue when your pipes start to rust. Even if it looks a little off when you first turn it on and then becomes clear, this is still bad news.

Remember that discoloration means corrosion or damage. If you see anything other than clear water, call in the pros.

Wrapping Up

To ensure safety, repipe your home or business at the first sign of trouble. After all, it’s not worth waiting for the damage to get worse.

Use the five simple signs above to guide you. If you notice a strange odor, color, or noise, it’s time to look into repiping your home. If your pipes are leaky or the temperature of your water is difficult to adjust, repiping is necessary as well.

Do you have any questions or would you like to learn more about our services? Contact us anytime. We have all the answers you need and we’re here to help!

Standing Water: What Is It and How to Get Rid of It

The CDC states that standing water has several health risks including infectious diseases, chemical hazards, and injuries.

A pond of water in your yard can also kill your grass and plants and damage the foundation of your home.

Here are the causes of standing water and what you can do about it to protect your home and family.

Causes of Standing Water

There are several possible causes for standing water in the yard after rain showers.

The first thing to check for is overwatering. If it rains and the grass and soil are already wet, the rain water can’t go into the ground and sits on the surface.

If your home has an automatic sprinkler, reduce how often it waters your grass and cut down on the number of minutes each time.

Another reason you might be getting standing water is due to the grading of your lawn. The slope of the yard should direct runoff water towards the storm sewer or street.

This is a self-perpetuating problem. If the grading is not correct and water collects on the yard, it causes a low spot. These low spots collect more water each time it rains and the spot gets bigger and bigger.

Problems Due to Standing Water

Standing water is not just unsightly. It poses a threat to your family’s health and your home.

Pools of water are breeding grounds for mosquitos. And mosquitos can carry serious diseases such as the Zika virus.

Water that collects near your home’s foundation is a big problem. On average, homeowners pay $4000 to fix foundation issues in their homes.

Water near your foundation can also cause a flood in your basement and damage your property and cause mold to grow. Slab leak detection is another way to prevent basement damage.

It is much better to prevent these problems by ensuring rainwater flows away from your house than it is to deal with the consequences.

Solutions

There are a couple of solutions for how to soak up water in the backyard.

Re-grade

The first is to re-grade. A landscaper design company can advise you on how to change the angle of your lawn so that proper drainage can happen when it rains. You can also regrade your yard yourself if you feel up to the task.

Install a French Drain

Another option is to install a drainage system called a french drain. This system uses a perforated pipe that runs along the yard in a trench filled with gravel.

The trench is sloped towards the street sewer and away from the house. The gravel in the trench channels the water into the perforated pipe in the trench.

Check out HGTV’s tutorial on how to install a french drain.

Final Thoughts

We hope you found this article on standing water helpful. Though it can be a lot of work to ensure proper yard drainage, it is important to protect your home’s foundation and your family.

Do you suspect you have a leaking pipe in the house? Let us provide you with a leak inspection before a cracked or burst pipe costs you a lot of money in property damage.

How to Tell If You Have a Leaky Gas Line

An undiscovered gas leak is a frightening thought for any homeowner. If gone untreated, a leak can lead to a number of health issues for you and your family, including nausea, headaches, or even irregular breathing.

The best prevention is to educate yourself on the warning signs so you know what to look for if you suspect a problem. If you find an issue, it’s imperative you call a professional right away.

To help you out, we’re going over how to detect a gas leak on your property. Understanding the warning signs is the best way to keep your family safe and prevent costly bills.

A Strange Odor

A gas leak is often associated with an unusual odor. The best way to describe it is a rotten egg or sulfuric smell.

This natural gas smell is caused by mercaptan, an additive the utility company uses to create an odor that’s easy to detect. Otherwise, the gas is odorless.

It’s important to note that some people don’t pick up on the smell, so it’s important to understand additional warning signs.

Listen for a Hissing Sound

Another good indicator of a gas leak is a hissing sound coming from the line. This could mean you’re dealing with a significant leak. You’ll want to get a professional involved immediately.

You also may hear a hissing sound coming from your HVAC system. This is an indication of a refrigerant leak or a faulty compressor. You’ll need to turn off your AC and call a technician.

The Bubble Test

If you suspect a gas leak but aren’t positive, you can perform a simple test to confirm the issue.

First, create a mixture of equal parts water and soap. Then, use a brush to apply the mixture to your gas line, ensuring you cover all fitting and connections.

If there’s a gas leak, you’ll notice tiny bubbles forming in the area where gas is escaping.

Higher Gas Bills

It’s easy for a small gas leak to go unnoticed. Although you may not notice any strange smells or sounds, gas could be escaping very gradually.

When this is the case, you’ll most likely begin to see your gas bills increasing. If this happens, either perform the bubble test or call a technician in to confirm.

Dead Plants and Vegetation

Gas leaks don’t only happen inside your home. They can also occur underground somewhere on your property.

If you notice plants and vegetation suddenly dying in a given area of your lawn, it’s possible you have a leak. This happens as a result of natural gas restricting the amount of oxygen available your plants.

If you have a garden, your vegetables may change color if natural gas is present in the soil underneath them. You’ll need to have your gas line inspected right away.

Understanding How to Detect a Gas Leak

By knowing the warning signs, you’ll have peace of mind your family and home are protected. Now that you understand how to detect a gas leak, it’s a good idea to perform regular checks. If you discover an issue, play it safe and call an expert.

We provide a full range of leak detection services throughout Southern California. Contact us today.

How to Fix a Slow Draining Sink

You’ve noticed the drain in your sink is a little slow lately, what do you do?

You could ignore it, but the problem will build until the sink takes 20 minutes or more to drain. Or it’ll sit stagnant all day.

A slow draining sink is usually a quick fix you can do yourself. See the methods below.

Snake the Drain

Drain snakes are awesome to keep around the house. You can get them at home improvement stores or even from the home section of a Dollar Tree.

These long plastic sticks have hooks on both sides and are quite sharp. You stick the long, hooked part down the drain and push it up and down as the pipe allows.

Then wiggle it as you pull up. We suggest wearing gloves and a face mask if you’re sensitive. Wet and mangy hair plus sink gunk doesn’t smell good when it comes out!

Over a trash can, take a paper towel and wipe the gunk off in the opposite direction than the spikes. Just like you would clean a cheese grater.

You can repeat a few times if you feel like there’s more down there. Even the cheap drain snakes are reusable until you feel like the hooks aren’t as sharp or intense.

Make sure you wipe them down with a bleach wipe or disinfectant before storing.

The Drain Plug

You know the thing that makes your drain plug go up and down? Unscrew the drain cover and you’ll see a four-pronged white plastic piece.

Sometimes you’ll see things stuck in the white piece and be able to pull it out with tweezers or your fingers.

Other times you need to take the whole unit out to clean it. Turn off your water (for good measure) and go under your sink. You should see a metal stick with holes connected to a rod coming out of the top of your P trap.

Using your fingers, unscrew the rod from the big pipe unit. The pressure on the metal stick will lessen and you’ll be able to push the rod out of its metal-stick hole.

This is the tension rod that controls your drain-plug handle. With it gone you can go back up over the sink and pull out the white plastic piece.

Most likely you’ll see some nasty stuff come off the bottom of that plastic piece. Treat it like you would treat a drain snake and clean it off.

It’s not uncommon for there to be gunk or slime in between the folds, so soak the pieces in a bleach/soap solution.

You can do this and then snake your drain for less difficulty as well.

Then, put the white plastic part back in and push it until it’s in the starting position. Add the rod back to the main pipe unit and screw it in.

Carefully re-attach the metal stick tension rod and screw the drain cover back on. Voila!

Slow Draining Sink Fixed

One of these methods or a combination of both above will unclog a common slow draining sink. If they don’t work, your problem may be more complicated.

You can try cleaning your gunk trap yourself, but that’s an even grosser process. Leave that to the professionals.

They’re on call and waiting for you!

How to Unclog a Bathroom Sink: 7 Methods

There are certain skills that every commercial and residential occupant should have.

From changing a lightbulb to patching a hole in the wall to unclogging a sink. These are all important things to know how to do but we think unclogging a sink is one of the most important.

So where do you begin if you have a clogged sink? And what if you don’t have a plunger? Not to worry.

We’ve put together a list of seven different ways that’ll prepare you when you’re curious on how to unclog a bathroom sink.

1. The Wire Hanger Method

This is the classic, tried-and-true method when it comes to unclogging a sink.

Take a wire hanger and straighten it out as best as you can. On one end make a small curve that can facilitate a hook. Fish the hanger down the drain and begin removing the gunk that is clogging your sink.

Make sure to remember that instead of pushing the hanger further down the drain, you should be focusing on removing the debris.

2. Baking Soda & Vinegar

If you want another DIY method to unclog your sink, look in your spice cabinet!

Pull out the baking soda, vinegar, and a mixing bowl. Mix together 1/3 cup of baking soda and 1/3 cup of vinegar. This mixture will begin to fizz almost immediately, and after it’s started to fizz pour it down your sink.

Let this concoction marinate in your drain for at least an hour. The fizzing action should break down the gunk stuck in your drain. After an hour, flush the drain with hot water and it should be as good as new!

3. Down to the Boiling Point

If you don’t have baking soda or vinegar, another easy DIY is to use boiling water. Boil a pot of water and flush it down the sink. If the water fills up the sink and doesn’t drain, allow the water to cool and remove it with a cup or ladle.

Repeat the process with another pot of boiling water until the clog easily drains.

4. For the Aspiring Handyman

If you’re wanting to be a bit more hands-on approach then break out your wrench. Open the cabinet under your sink and locate the U-shaped pipe (aka the Trap) and put a bucket under it.

Using your wrench, unscrew the bolts that hold the Trap in place. By unscrewing the Trap, water and debris that are trapped within will pour out into the bucket underneath. You might need to use an old toothbrush to wiggle the remaining debris out of the pipes, but this should solve your clog.

Once you’ve removed all debris, screw the trap back into place. If you have any leaks in the trap, this may also be a good time to assess them.

5. The Plumber Pipe

If this isn’t your first clogged drain, then you might have a plumber’s snake. If this isn’t your first clogged drain and you don’t have a snake, it might be time to invest in one.

These tools are specifically designed to remove excess debris from pipes. They can be found at your local hardware and are a good tool to have on hand. Fish the snake down the drain until you feel resistance. Move the snake up and down where you feel resistance and the debris should come loose.

6. Drain Detergents

Also found at your local hardware store should be a section of detergents specifically geared toward removing drain clogs.

Pick up one of these detergents from your hardware store and follow it’s directions. Allow the detergent to clear out the pipe for as long as instructions say. After you’ve used the necessary amount of detergent, flush hot water down the drain. It should flush the way it’s supposed to.

7. Call in the Caustic Soda

If you’ve tried detergents, snakes and boiling water to no avail, go back to your hardware store and ask for caustic soda (otherwise known as Sodium Hydroxide).

This is one of the more extreme ways to handle a clogged sink but it should get the job done. If you chose to go this route, make sure you have protective eyewear and rubber gloves to avoid chemical burns.

Pour 3/4 gallon of cold water into a mop bucket and add three cups of caustic soda into the mix. Stir the mix with a wooden spoon and it should fizz and heat up. Pour this down the drain and leave it for 30 minutes. After the mixture has sat for that long, pour boiling water to remove any excess caustic soda.

How to Unclog A Bathroom Sink

There you have it! Seven ways that’ll help you better understand how to unclog a bathroom sink.

Hopefully, one of these ways will allow you to better understand how to unclog a bathroom sink. If you’re still having issues or questions, feel free to shoot us a message! We’d love to help in any way we can.

Otherwise, happy unclogging!

The Benefits and Limitations of Sewer Camera Inspection

Sewer line replacement is one of the top 4 most expensive home repairs for homeowners. And if your sewer has started to smell, your drains aren’t draining, or you’re experiencing leaks, it’s time to get a professional involved.

But you want to be sure that whoever does the job does it right. And part of that means being an informed homeowner.

One of the best options for detecting sewer pipe problems without breaking the bank is using sewer camera inspection. But it won’t be able to find everything.

Keep reading for the what sewer camera inspection is, how it can help your home, and what it won’t be able to do.

What Is Sewer Camera Inspection?

To keep it basic, sewer camera inspection is when your plumber is able to take a camera attached to a flexible line through your sewer pipes. Then they are able to watch a live feed of exactly what’s happening inside your home’s pipes.

This helps your plumber be able to determine exactly what’s going on in your pipes and how to fix it.

What Are the Benefits?

Having a sewer camera inspection done has several benefits for both you and your home.

  • Finds The Problems: With a camera that can get a full 360-degree view, your plumber is able to get a really good view of the problem happening in your pipes. It can find the source so you can start focusing on getting it fixed.
  • Prevents Problems: If your home is more of a fixer-upper, getting a preventative drain camera inspection could help you avoid major issues before they become a top-tier expense.
  • Saves You Money: Sewer pipe repairs can be very expensive, even causing many homeowners to take out loans. And using a sewer line camera is the least invasive option to ensure that they’re working properly.

What Are the Limitations?

While a plumbing camera can find the source of your problem, it won’t be able to locate a leak.

Because the camera is inside of your pipes, it can’t show when fluid is escaping them. While you may be able to see a hole or crack from the camera, it can be hard to tell the difference between that and debris from your sewage.

Ultimately, the using a plumbing camera to get a look is great, but you can’t use the camera alone to be sure of locating the leak. Be sure to use a professional who can use multiple methods to determine where your leak is.

Solving and Preventing Home Leaks

Your house is not only an investment, it’s your home. And keeping it safe and preventing damage is a top priority for us.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you prevent leaks and keep your pipes in their best shape.

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Ignore a Slab Leak

Are you putting off a slab leak repair? If so, it’s time to stop procrastinating.

A slab leak is a plumbing problem that should never be ignored. Left unattended, these hidden plumbing issues can lead to costly home damages, mold risks, and more.

Get the rundown on this dangerous plumbing problem, what it is, and the risks involved so you can take action the right way.

What is a Slab Leak?

So what is a slab leak, exactly? These troublesome plumbing issues are leaks that occur beneath the concrete slabs in our home, apartment, or commercial building.

These kinds of leaks can occur in a couple of different ways, but the most common is due to clay beneath your foundation. Because clay tends to shrink and expand based on the moisture level within the soil, it causes pressure to be placed upon the concrete slab that makes up your structure’s foundation.

What does this have to do with your plumbing? There are areas of your plumbing that connect with this foundation. When the slabs shift, it can damage the pipes and cause a leak.

Other slab leak causes can include corrosion, cheap piping, high water pressure, or improper installation.

Signs of a Slab Leak

Have you noticed a slab leak within your home or business? There are a few different signs, including:

  • Damp or Soaked Baseboards, Carpet, or Flooring
  • A Spike in Your Water Bill
  • Mold Growth in Your Flooring
  • Water Pressure is Inexplicably Low
  • Hearing Water Flow Beneath Your Foundation
  • Cracks in the walls

5 Reasons This Problem Should Never Be Ignored

This kind of plumbing issue is one that you want to act quickly on. If you put it off or try to ignore it, you may find yourself with much bigger problems on your hands.

An Ignored Leak Costs You Money

Just because you recently noticed signs of a slab leak doesn’t mean it’s new. It could have been flowing undetected for months, elevating your water bill and escalating the extent of its damage.

Nearly 22% of insurance claims are attributed to water damage. Not only are you paying for the wasted water so long as the leak is present, but you’re also gambling with the development of new problems in consequence of the leak itself.

Mold Growth

Mold thrives in high moisture area. If left to grow and spread, this can lead to significant respiratory issues in those exposed to it.

Damage to the Building’s Structural Integrity

When left unattended, water can do a lot of damage. Slab leaks start at the foundation of your home, saturating flooring and piping, which in turn can lead to corrosion and severe weakening of the building’s structural integrity.

Water Sources Will Lose Pressure

Your sink, your shower, and other appliances that rely on water will lose pressure due to the leak. You’ll notice this, as it will significantly reduce their efficiency and cause frustration for the user.

Your Flooring Will Suffer

Depending on where the leak is located, you’ll start to notice water damage in your flooring. Carpet will become damp and moldy while hard flooring may grow soft or warped.

Slab leaks are one problem that often leads to many within your commercial or residential building.

Schedule Your Slab Leak Repair

If you live in the Bellflower, California area and you find yourself experiencing signs of a slab leak, don’t wait. Contact us today for a home visit and repair. No matter what the cause may be, we’ll make things good as new.

How Does Water Pipe Leakage Detection Work?

Is your water bill higher than usual? There’s a good chance that you might have a leak.

Having a leaky pipe can quickly lead to some pretty big problems. If the leakage continues, it could lead to you having major pipe damage, and can even ruin the structure of your home or business.

So how do you go about dealing with this?

Well, for starters, you need to find out if you have a leak, and if so, where that leak is located.

The process is actually easier than you think. Keep reading to learn what it takes to detect leaks and protect your structure from water damage.

How Does Water Pipe Leakage Detection Work?

Water pipe leakage detection happens with the use of electronic leak detection. This is a system that uses acoustics, or sound patterns, produced by an electric leak detector to find the leak in your pipes.

The electronic leak detector can detect the sound of any leaks within your pipeline by using a device called a transducer. The transducer can pick up the sound and amplifies the noise of dripping water caused by the leak.

The level of amplification depends on how big the leak really is. If there’s only a tiny drip, the detector will produce a lighter sound, and if there is a bigger leak, the frequency will be much louder.

Of course, other factors such as the makeup of the pipes and the location of the leak factor into this as well. The water pipe leakage detector is designed to analyze all of this and tell the plumber where exactly the leak is.

After the plumber picks up the sound, he or she will be able to know what type of leak they’re working with and the steps they’ll have to take to fix it.

Why Do I Need This?

Obviously, a leak can cause a lot of damage to your house or business, and repairs will drain your wallet.

You can avoid all of this by having someone bring in an electronic leak detector to inspect your pipes.

Bringing in an experienced plumber to use the electronic leak detector would be relatively inexpensive, and if you catch leaks early, you can quickly make the minor repairs to get you back on track.

Even if you know where a leak is, there’s a chance that there may be other places along the pipeline where leaks are occurring. The detector could spot all of this and prevent the damage to your home or workplace.

Trust us; you’ll be glad you did.

Give Us A Call

When it comes to water leaks, nobody does it better than we do.

Water pipe leakage detection is our specialty, but we also offer general plumbing and repiping services as well, and there’s no job too big or too small for us to handle.

Check out our page to learn more about what we do. Want to talk instead? Leave us a message or give us a call, and we’ll be sure to get back to you.